Donald Trump fires off at Rosie O'Donnell, Barbara Walters... again
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 01/11/2007
The world continues to turn today and the verbal and written war between The Apprentice's Donald Trump and The View co-hosts Rosie O'Donnell and Barbara Walters also remained in its regular rotation, with both sides continuing to fire shots at one another.
On Wednesday morning's live broadcast of ABC's The View, O'Donnell and Walters exchanged high-fives while continuing to diss "The Donald" without ever mentioning him by name. Their comments were in response to an open letter Trump issued on Tuesday that highlighted negative comments The Apprentice star alleged Walters made about O'Donnell.
"That poor, pathetic man... he just can't let go, but we're moving on," Walters said on Wednesday's TheView. Added O'Donnell, "The man is obsessed with me... and, I'm happy to say, [Sunday night's The Apprentice 6 premiere] tanked."
Rosie's comments forced Trump to pull a familiar rabbit out of his bag of tricks, referring to O'Donnell as a "liar" once again when he was interviewed by Natalie Morales in a Wednesday afternoon interview that aired on Thursday's The Today Show. "The Apprentice ratings were fantastic, it was the most successful show in the last 14 months in that timeslot and Rosie made the statement 'Oh, the show bombed, it bombed,'" Trump told Morales.
Left unclarified in Trump's Today statement was the fact that while Sunday night's The Apprentice: Los Angeles premiere drew NBC's best performance in the 9:30-11PM timeslot in 14 months, the performance still fell short of the numbers that ABC and CBS have both drawn in the time period.
"Rosie is a very sad figure -- watch what happens, after I'm finished with this and The View goes back to being The View, those ratings will tank," Trump continued, noting that The View has been averaging about half a million more viewers since the feud began.
Seemingly upset that neither Walters nor O'Donnell had acknowledged the open letter he had released on Tuesday afternoon during Wednesday morning's View broadcast, Trump penned a second letter on Wednesday afternoon.
"Barbara Walters has taken the low road for the sake of her show rather than the sake of her morality," Trump wrote in his letter. "She lied with Star Jones, and she's chosen to lie again. She refused to discuss my recent letter because she knows it is true -- and so does Rosie. They didn't even have the courage to mention me by name. It was sad to see Barbara read her statement off a cue card. Rosie just pushed her out like a ('pathetic') puppet."
"Barbara has become a sad figurehead dominated by a third-rate comedian and I now wish she had not recently chosen me as one of the '10 Most Fascinating People.' Rosie lied once again by incorrectly referencing The Apprentice ratings. Nielson shows The Apprentice was #1 from 10:30 to 11:00 in all of television."
Trump's letter then quoted a Tuesday, January 9 Daily Variety article that noted that The Apprentice: Los Angeles' premiere won the 10:30-11PM ET/PT time period among the Adults 18-49 demographic -- but offered no mention of the fact that despite the Adults 18-49 win, the show still finished a distant third (behind both CBS' Without a Trace and ABC's Brothers & Sisters) among overall viewers during the half-hour time period.
After he discussed the ratings success of The Apprentice's sixth season premiere, Trump also attributed the recent success of several other shows to himself. He said Monday's Live With Regis and Kelly, which he was a guest on, was up 36% over the show's January 2006 average and added its market share "was the biggest of any show in the market." Left unmentioned was that after two weeks of pre-taped clip shows, the broadcast also represented Live's first live broadcast of the new year and also included an appearance by Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly.
"Unfortunately, also because of me, The View's rating will be up -- but they will soon fade just like their last year's ratings," is how Trump closed his letter.
Trump's recent feud with O'Donnell began last month when he announced Miss USA Tara Connor would keep her title, which was in jeopardy due to underage drinking. As part of her agreement with Trump, Connor is currently attending an in-patient substance abuse rehabilitation center. O'Donnell said Trump, who is twice divorced, had no right to be "the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America," sparking a string of nasty media exchanges between the pair. Walters has since been brought into the fray, and there's still no word if it will ever end.
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